A family fishing for salmon made a curious discovery in the 1970s and it was all the way from the UK.
A family fishing for salmon made a curious discovery in the 1970s and it was all the way from the UK. Alistair Brightman

The mysterious message in a bottle found on a Bundy beach

IT WAS 42 years ago this month that a Bundaberg family found a mysterious message in a bottle while on a fishing trip north of the city.

On January 7, 1978, Mr I Muller and his family headed 30 miles off the coast to catch salmon at high tide.

Not long after setting off, a curious item piqued the family's interest.

Mrs Muller plucked it from the water and through barnacles she could see it was a bottle containing a note.

Mr Muller couldn't remove the cap from the Gordon's gin bottle as it had crusted over during its voyage.

It was only when they got the bottle home and put some effort into removing the cap that they realised just how far the message had come.

PLACE OF ORIGIN: Bury St, London, the original location of a message in a bottle that ended up floating to Bundaberg in the 1970s.
PLACE OF ORIGIN: Bury St, London, the original location of a message in a bottle that ended up floating to Bundaberg in the 1970s. Google Maps

A note read: "Anyone finding this bottle, please contact A Richards, c/- 21 Bury St, London, EC3A 5AV, England, and collect your 50 pound reward".

There wasn't much else to it.

"I'd say the bottle had been floating about the ocean for about six months," Mr Muller told the NewsMail in 1978.

Mrs Muller, meanwhile, said she thought the note's offer of money could have just been a prank.

It didn't stop the couple's children Paul, 15, Michelle, 12 and Belinda, 8 from writing to the address anyway.

It's not the only time messages in bottles have popped up in the greater region.

In 2004, the NewsMail reported on a bottle that was found at Burnett Heads, containing message.

Sadly, a teaspoon full of red wine that had been left in the bottle had obscured most of the message, leaving just the author's name, Kevin, and a reference to Sweetlip Reed, which is off Gladstone.

In 2015, a Volunteer Marine Rescue volunteer discovered a sealed jar floating in the Gladstone Marina carrying a handwritten note to a child's grandfather.

The note reminisced about times spent with the writer's grandad and how much he was missed three months on from his passing.

"Being a grandfather and seeing how the little person had thought and missed her grandfather was very touching," Bill Ives said.

Late last year, it was by chance that Agnes Water couple Bob and Melanie Cooper found a bottle filled with heartfelt messages that led them to the de Kort family.

The bottle, which had washed ashore, contained the words of Alana de Kort's family following the teenager's death in 2018.

 

Warren Rowlands thinks he has found a cannonball at River Heads.
Warren Rowlands with his cannonball. Craig Warhurst

When it comes to curios on our beaches, however, it's not always the messages within washed up objects, but the objects themselves that fascinate. 

It was in 2016 that Warren Rowlands found a cannonball on the Riverview shoreline he believed could pre-date the Captain Cook era.

It was a possibility potentially backed up by Bakers Military Memorabilia Museum in Childers owner Allan Baker who said he couldn't date the object, but agreed it was very old.

"It is definitely a cannonball, a small one that has been in the sand for a long time," Mr Baker said.

What interesting items have you found washed ashore?

Email crystal.jones@news-mail.com.au to share your finds.